Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Journey to a Healthier Me (Weight Loss Post)

The following photos were taken on June 2, 2012.  It was the evening of my 25th High School Reunion in St. Louis, Missouri.

Just a few days prior (May 29th) I took the initiative to get healthy and met with a registered dietitian through my husband's employer.  The city has a required Wellness Program that all employees and their spouses (*if on the family health insurance plan) must participate in, in order to keep health insurance premiums from doubling.  For a year and half now I have been resistant to their offers of help to get healthy and take the weight off.

I'm  not really sure why.

Partly, because I just had a baby when required enrollment occurred (October 2010), and also because I was suffering from a debilitating foot injury.  I kept using the new baby/foot injury as excuses for not doing the hard work...taking control of my eating.

After mulling it around in my head for several months (basically as a New Year's Resolution to reclaim a sense of self!) I picked up the phone and called the Wellness Center in early May.  My assumption was that they could get me right in and schedule me to meet with Mary (my dietitian) and I could at least begin taking off a few pounds before the BIG reunion...my 25 YEAR!

It was not to be.  As I mentioned, Mary could not meet with my until May 29th...just a mere 3 days before my reunion.

But in the end, the late scheduled visit was a blessing in disguise.

You see, if I had only wanted to take off the weight to look good for a bunch of women, (I attended a Catholic all-girls high school) most that I haven't seen in 25 years, then it would be all for not.  The reunion would end and the motivation would be lost to continue on to do the hard work.  (And hard work it is...at least it was in the beginning.)  

Instead, I decided that it was time to get healthy for me!

To prevent the onset of Type 2 Diabetes...
(I was gestational diabetic 3 times which is typically a precursor to Type 2)

To prevent any type of cardiac issues (blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, etc.)...
(unfortunate extended family history)

To regain energy and vitality...

To find the "happy" me once again...
(NOT based on any scale number, but on how good and energetic I am feeling)

To live life to the fullest each and every day!

So, here I am on June 1, 2012 at 212 lbs.  I look like a stay-puff marshmallow!
(Oh yes, I did just type that!  I'm not typically one to air my dirty laundry on a public forum, but I feel the need to be honest with myself...and if I don't put some things in writing...then I tend to wish them/ignore them away!)

 And here I am on June 29, 2012 (1-month into my lifestyle changes and TWENTY-ONE pounds lighter!)
(I've decided to photograph myself once a month wearing the same dress.)

I feel like the changes are most notable in my face, but MORE importantly, I FEEL wonderful.

I have so much more energy than before...and I don't take NAPS.
(Yes, I really did take a nap every single day when Baby Luke (now a toddler!) napped.)

And, what was just my change in eating habits has now extended to the entire family...yup, hubby and kids are on board too!

We eat radically different than we did before and everyone is looking and feeling better!

Anyway, just wanted to share what has been keeping me so very busy this summer.  
At first, my lifestyle changes were all consuming...

I needed to expend lots of mental energy thinking about how to prepare home cooked-whole foods-mostly plant based (with some lean proteins) meals for myself.  

I needed to expend lots of physical energy to move that 212 pounds on a nightly or morning walk. 

I needed to expend lots of self-discipline to cut my horrific sugar and processed foods addiction.

But today, as of this writing, I feel like a new me...or maybe it's the "old healthy me" returning. Either way, it's a terrific feeling to be able to bend over and put on my tennis shoes, simply crouch down to bathe my kiddos, or run errands all day and still have enough energy to take my kids to the pool in this terrible 100+ degree heat!

I'm under no delusions, though.

I have plenty of weight left to lose.  While TWENTY-SEVEN pounds off my not quite 5'4"  frame is a fantastic start, I am still overweight and have a lot more to lose.

More importantly, my family and I need to continue to modify our lifestyle habits so that our healthy eating and exercising become permanent lifestyle changes! 

If you've read to then of this unusually long post I thank you!  It has been incredibly cathartic to share the beginnings of my weight loss journey publicly.  

Tomorrow:  A glimpse of our new eating habits!

And one last bit of "food for thought" (pun intended!) I found this on Pinterest...and it's become my new life motto...for now anyway.

Source: etsy.com via Valerie on Pinterest
Happy Wednesday!


  1. You look amazing! I'm so proud FOR you, so I know you must be proud! It is a definite noticeable difference. Blogging about it helped keep me accountable, too. And taking a picture once a month in the same dress is a fantastic idea. I know that the weekly pictures that I took of myself were more motivation for me than anything! Awesome job and keep at it!

  2. You look awesome!! What a difference! I can definitely see how much you've changed :) good for you! I'd love to start walking with you sometimes, if B is home, so let me know when you're going!

  3. Good for you! Congrats on what you've accomplished so far and I know you will do great!

  4. Wow--what a journey! Congratulations! Keep it up.
    Now if I could find your motivation!:)


  5. Way to go Val! You look great!

  6. Congrats!!! I am starting my own journey too... but you are bit ahead of me and I'll use you as inspiration. Thanks for being honest and sharing.
    --Jill in CA

  7. you are inspiring me to make a better effort at dropping some weight. you look great.

  8. Cheers for you. We're about the same height and I am just a tad thinner, but need to get healthier too. I will stopping by to cheer you on and be inspired.

  9. Beautiful, amazing, and inspiring. I applaud your efforts, and they are most definitely working! Keep us posted. I could certainly use some more inspiration and motivation myself! I've done better this week, so hopefully I have my head on straight again. Because, truly, that's where it starts :) Thanks for sharing your wonderful, fabulous journey. You look awesome! Great job! Keep going! (ok, I'll spare you more cheers for now.. but I'm really impressed and inspired! :)). -Tammy

  10. Valerie, you look beautiful!! I could tell immediately the change in weight!! how wonderful you must feel. GoGoGo!!! I'm supporting you!

  11. valerie--you look wonderful!!!! I'm so proud of you!!!!!!

    Looking forward to hearing about your progress!!! Keep up the great work!


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